I have been thinking a lot about beauty lately. I don’t know why. Maybe because we all need it. Beauty. Beautiful moonrises, cloudscapes, flowers, food. Beauty nourishes, speaks, comforts, invites….. Maybe the harder your life is, the more you need it. Maybe beauty speaks more loudly then, to hope, to joy, to things grander than our circumstances.
Maybe it’s because I have reached the age where people say, “you look great. For your age.” Ha. Is that a compliment? When you are past 35, beauty is earned. How you take care of yourself shows in your face. So do your values, your attitudes, your very personality, the grudges you carry, resentment, anger, joy, peace–they are all carved into our faces.
Yes and no.
Maybe those who have worked to stay soft during the hard knocks of life–and we all get beat up, no one escapes–deserve the dignity of a true mature beauty. It’s a lot of work to stay loving when others reject you, to fall down again and again, to not become crippled with anger, to forgive therefore giving up your “right” to bitterness. Over and over and over. The trouble is, if you keep a little resentment, just spoonful here and there, over the decades it adds up to cups, then turns into pounds. And it shows up, about your 50’s and sometimes sooner.
At an art show in Beverly Hills recently, I saw the most beautiful older ladies. They were darling! Not plumped up and pulled up, defying gravity, nor overdone, overdecorated, or overcompensating for loss of youth, they were sparkly, very alive and vibrant. They knew who they were; they weren’t hiding. Their expressions were open, curious and genuine. They were well loved–you could tell. A woman who is cherished shimmers. You could feel their comfort with themselves and who they were, they were not hiding behind facades, masks, accomplishments, money. Wrinkly, well cared for, wonderful and very very alive! Their beauty was not grasping or striving or screaming for your attention. It was inviting, like a cool dip in the pool at the end of a summer day.
I was inspired; I want to be like that. When you are old, your beauty is because of who you are, on the inside. It leaks out and illuminates your outsides. Botox and plastic surgery don’t fix character. Those old ladies were to be admired! To get through that much life and still retain your radiance—that is true beauty!
If you know a beautiful older woman, tell her. She deserves to hear it. She will glow, I promise. She worked her whole life for that.
Mom, you are the most beautiful older woman I know!
Happy 70th Birthday.
You look amazing. You have verve and joy and spunk, even though you have gone through your own tough things, divorce, change, adult children…and your daily life and death 40 year battle with Insulin Dependent Diabetes.
My life melted down, and you have been there. You offer me not empathy but strength, and courage. You remind me to fight on, get up again, keep going. You tell me that women in our family are strong women who do what has to been done, even though their hearts are bleeding and their dresses torn and muddy.
” Get up and get back on,” you taught me from an early age when I would fall off my pony.
I have felt you reach deep inside yourself to offer me yourself–a little courage when I know you and the rest of my “team” have been terrified at the choices I had to make. I have watched you all my life. I have learned so much about courage and strength and spunk and being a beautiful woman from you. I am so proud you are my mom.
Do you know any Beautiful old women?? What makes them so beautiful? Tell us about them.